Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Affirming Authenticity Conversation Series: Identity-Driven Leadership at Home

On March 27th, LOCUS held its first event of the three-part conversation series titled “Affirming Authenticity: Identity-Driven Leadership." The first event focused on how we exhibit authentic leadership within the context of our homes. During our conversation, we explored the themes of representation, belonging, and healing.

 At the event, professional women of diversity shared their journey, illustrating how many of them were the first in their families and communities to receive a college education and pursue a career.  Panelists, Asma Lori Saroya, co-founder and president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Minnesota (CAIR-MN), and Minerva Munoz, Director of TRIO Upward Bound at the University of Minnesota, joined us to discuss while enlightening attendees about own personal stories. The need for role models in our communities is evident.  The roles they play are vital in strengthening communities and reshaping dialogues.  As women of diversity in leadership roles, we can serve as role models, work to  increase positive understanding of communities of color, and push back on limitations set upon us by ourselves and others.

The question of belonging arose when discussing topics of identities, inclusivity, and leadership.  How much of ourselves do we bring to the places and people we regularly interact with, and do we mold ourselves to fit in or work to shape environments that foster inclusion?  Individuals are able to be authentic when our environment allows us to express ourselves fully-we can express the layers that inhabit our identities. In our conversation, we agreed that we all can play significant roles in shaping these environments, and showcase the diversity of our stories and experiences. Through hosting important dialogues in our homes, and places we contribute to, we can challenge the single stories that are presented of diverse communities by telling our stories, utilizing our agency, and working to close the gap between generations and communities.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Accepting Applicants: SEARAC Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT)

SEARAC is seeking applicants for their Leadership & Advocacy Training program this summer. The 2-day event is suited for those with a passion for advancing the interests of the Southeast Asian American community to create a socially just and equitable society. Prior advocacy, policy, or legislative experience is NOT a requirement.


WASHINGTON, DC – The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is excited to announce our 15th Annual Leadership and Advocacy Training (LAT) for seasoned and emerging leaders from Southeast Asian American communities and their allies.

Dates & Location
July 21 – 23, 2014
Washington, DC

Application Deadline
Friday, May 2, 2014

About the LAT
The Leadership & Advocacy Training program provides a forum for Southeast Asian American community leaders to participate in activities and workshops that include collective strategizing, networking, advocacy, and relationship building with decision makers on issues that are specific to the Southeast Asian American community.

Who Should Attend the LAT?
Our past participants have included professionals, staff of community-based organizations, students from high school to graduate school, and community members of all ages. The training is tailored to Southeast Asian Americans, but it is also open to anyone working with Southeast Asian American communities. The LAT is intended for emerging leaders and members of Southeast Asian American communities who want to increase their skills and knowledge in policy and advocacy practice.

Training Costs
SEARAC will cover the majority of travel and lodging for accepted applicants living outside of the training locations, but participants may be responsible for a portion of their travel costs. 



Please email Souvan Lee at: souvan@searac.org

Copyright © 2014 SEARAC, All rights reserved.

The Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) is a national organization that advances the interests of Cambodian, Laotian, and Vietnamese Americans by empowering communities through advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building to create a socially just and equitable society. Find out more at www.searac.org.

Monday, April 7, 2014

14th Annual Latino Youth Peace and Leadership Conference

The Latino Youth Peace and Leadership Conference is an annual event planned by and for Latino middle school and high school youth that promotes youth development, leadership, and positive identity while enabling participants to see their role as peacemakers and learn individual actions to share with their families, schools, and neighborhoods. This year marks the 14th annual conference and the theme is "Cultivating my Wellbeing." Through workshops, speakers and other activities, participants will explore ways to create health and well-being in all areas of their lives!

Cultivando Mi Bienestar

14th Annual Latino Youth Peace and Leadership Conference  
Friday, May 9 / Viernes 9 de Mayo, 2014 
Augsburg College, 2211 Riverside Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
Questions: 612-872-6165 or maureens@oportunidad.org

Flyer English & Spanish | Registration Form
Provided by La Oportunidad, Inc & Augsburg College

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Recruiting high school women of color for First Step Summer Institute

The First Step Summer Institute at St. Catherine University seeks high school women of color to attend a free one-week college immersion program. An overview of the program and eligibility requirements follow, for an application deadline of May 5, 2014. See below for additional details and pleasure consider sharing this information with your networks.


Preparing young women of color for higher education, the First Step Summer Institute is a FREE and unique college immersion experience offered at St. Catherine University (St. Paul campus).
In this one week residential program, students gain a deeper sense of commitment to pursue higher education, a strong network of diverse, college-bound friends, a sense of support and encouragement from St. Kate's staff, faculty, and students, more perspective on college living, and ultimately, increased self-esteem about their capacity to apply to and thrive in college.
If you are a young woman of color looking for these experiences in a summer enrichment program, apply to First Step »

Program overview

  • Work and live with 25 other fun and energetic young women of color, all of whom are striving to go to college.
  • Observe college classes and ask important questions of St. Kate's students, faculty, and staff.
  • Build a deeper sense of community and leadership skills with the help of team-building activities.
  • Attend a variety of workshops that are packed with invaluable information. Topics covered include:
    • applying for financial aid
    • choosing a major/career
    • tips for taking the ACT exam
    • how to write a personal statement
    • college money/debt management
  • Work with your peers on a group project designed to foster your skills and prepare you for college living.
  • Qualified alumna of First Step who apply and are accepted to St. Kate's will be considered for scholarships.
  • First Step is completely free to students and families.

Skills you will develop

  • Time, money, stress and conflict management
  • Goal setting
  • Problem solving
  • Active listening
  • Resourcefulness
  • Accountability to yourself and to others
  • Written and verbal communication


  • Identify as a woman of color
  • Students must currently be enrolled in the 10th or the 11th grade and have at least a 2.75 grade point average (GPA)
  • Be interested in higher education
  • Demonstrate a willingness to make First Step your first priority
  • Complete the 2014 First Step application
Note: First Step is a highly competitive program with more applicants than there are slots available. Meeting eligibility requirements alone does not guarantee admission to this program. Program enrollment is limited to 26 students per session.

Application Process

Follow these steps to apply to the First Step Summer Institute. Application deadline: Monday, May 5th, 2014.
  • Download and complete the First Step application »
  • Obtain two letters of recommendation. One recommendation should come from a current teacher and the other from an adult who can speak honestly about your personal qualities and interests, talents, and skills.
  • Submit your most recent official transcript or grade report.
  • Your most recent official transcript and two letters of recommendation should be sent directly from your high school or recommender in a sealed envelope.